about

SHORT FORM

I’m a writer, filmmaker, and artist.

Here’s my artwork.

Here’s my resume.

Here’s my IMDB.

I have 4 great kids, 2 beautiful grandbabies, and one very supportive wife.

I still live in the town I was born in.

And I prefer to be where I can see the horizon.


LONG FORM (or How We Get Here From There)

ART

I identified as an artist by the time I was five. I worshiped Charles Schultz, learned how to read via Peanuts (and The Wizard of Oz in hardback), and knew for certain that my life would be spent drawing a daily cartoon strip. I started submitting strips to newspapers at about nine, and still have a folder full of rejection letters in a box somewhere.

To keep me in drawing paper, my mother bought roll-ends from the local newspaper for a dime apiece. 30 inches tall and dozens of yards long, I easily went through a couple of these a year. She also made sure I had clay, india ink, books about calligraphy, and every Walter Foster book I could get my hands on.

In sixth grade, busted repeatedly for drawing too much in the margins of my work, my teacher “hired” me to draw comics on butcher paper tacked to the wall for the whole class, in exchange for keeping my work doodle-free.

In high school, a progressive science teacher got me into independent studies so I could illustrate a series of science textbooks he was writing. That got me school credit, a mention in the local paper, and jealous friends.

WRITING

I wrote my first book when I was about seven. It was called “GreyStreak” and it was about a boy who wanted to adopt a Greyhound dog, but had to save the money himself (he did). That was followed (at nine) by a non-fiction book about the care and feeding of iguanas. I quit working on it after my iguana ran away and died in my Grandfather’s garden.

At ten, I wrote four one-act plays (mysteries – watch out Agatha Christie) and a sheaf of angst-filled poems about stuff I knew nothing about and had never experienced (“My heart has been pierced by the thorns of life”). Don’t tell me there was no such thing as “emo” back then.

By high school I was writing a horrible sci-fi novel (I still have it — it’s painful to read), a binder full of short stories (some were pretty good) and more poetry (less emo, surprisingly).

COLLEGE

In college I double-majored in Studio Art, and Literature with an emphasis on Creative Writing. I studied Victorian lit, Central and South American lit, women’s literature, and children’s literature. I was lucky to work closely with Lucille Clifton… an amazing woman, and a great friend.

I graduated with a Bachelor’s in 1986, did a year of Graduate studies, ran out of money and energy, and spent the next decade or two selling office supplies (“The Office” is not so much fiction for me). Nevertheless, I managed to pick up illustration and writing work where I could, was an on-air personality once a week for a local radio station, and continued painting and drawing for personal pleasure whenever possible.

In 1999 I gave up job security, cut the cord, and got out of “The Office”. I got involved in web development (I find it more creatively challenging than you might think), got involved in film production, illustrated a few kid’s books, wrote some screenplays, and generally tried to keep a hand in as many creative projects as possible.

Now I’m strictly freelance, in any of these capacities. I can do it for you.


ABOUT THE BLOG

The blog is where I rant, share, complain, extol, and pontificate on all things that are shiny and catch my attention. I’ll do my best to keep them organized and entertaining.

Spews are cranky essays. The attitude there is generally pissy, kind of complainy, often politically incorrect, generally left leaning, a lot like Lewis Black only I wrote these way before he was doing anything on The Daily Show (or before I’d even heard of him). Which is not to say that I’m being defensive. It’s just that I was first. As far as I know. Which is all that matters.

I used to do a regular radio spot called “Crankydog”, based on my website of the same name. I’d perform the spews live once or twice a week, mostly on the morning drive time show. They got pretty popular, and I had fans who only tuned in to hear the spews. The website was around for quite a few years, and featured my own essays as well as work by guest authors whose pieces were reviewed and hand picked.

Over time, I began to find them harder to write, insofar as I had to put myself into a pretty cranky place sometimes to get worked up about some pretty mundane stuff. Finally, I quit writing them. But I’m reposting them here so people will still be able to find them.